Invisible donors: Big political spenders just the tip of the iceberg

By Katie Burgess, originally published in The Canberra Times 5th November 2019. Billionaires bankrolled high-profile independents including Canberra’s Anthony Pesec ahead of the May federal election, new electoral disclosures show. But most donors remain invisible, because of the high disclosure threshold. Independents received around $4.7 million in donations from more than 5500 donors, election disclosure… Read More

RN Breakfast: Queensland crackdown on election donations

Interview by Hamish McDonald, producer Cathy Van Extel, ABC RN Breakfast 30th October 2019. Queensland is set to implement the toughest electoral donation caps and spending limits in the country. Next month the Palaszczuk Government will introduce a bill into State Parliament, with spending caps to take effect in time for next year’s state election.… Read More

‘It is all part of the same disease’: media and other key institutions under threat

By Nick O’Malley, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 29th October 2019. The prosecution of journalists, cuts to the ABC budget and the appointment of “dud” politically connected officials to roles in key agencies present an unprecedented threat to democracy in Australia. “Media provides crucial accountability and transparency functions,” said a report by… Read More

Government caving in to industry pressure over planning commission review, say former ICAC bosses

By Michaela Whitbourn and Megan Gorrey, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald 21st October 2019 Former commissioners of the state’s anti-corruption agency have accused the Berejiklian government of caving in to mining industry pressure by holding a review into the future of the independent consent authority for major projects in NSW. Planning Minister Rob… Read More

NSW Minerals Council pressured ‘publicly and privately’ for review of planning body

By Christopher Knaus, originally published in the Guardian 21st October 2019 The head of New South Wales’s mining lobby said his group had “publicly and privately” pressured government to review the state’s independent planning body after it blocked a new coalmine on environmental grounds, an anti-corruption probe has heard. The NSW Minerals Council chief executive,… Read More

Ex-judges lay out blueprint for improving political integrity

Originally published by Chris Knaus in the Guardian 18th October A group of ex-judges, anti-corruption commissioners, and experts have laid out a blueprint for improving political and democratic integrity in the wake of this year’s election. The Centre for Public Integrity used a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters to argue there… Read More

Former Supreme Court Justice says Australians deserve much better when it comes to standards of political integrity

Interview on ABC News Radio Friday 18th October – listen here Former judges and legal experts are calling for caps on electoral expenditure, real time disclosure of large donations, and tighter rules around around former MPs becoming lobbyists for industry. The Centre for Public Integrity has identified those as key among a raft of reforms… Read More